Keeping Pace and Enhancing Emergency Services

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The City of Redmond is engaging community members about how to continue to fund Redmond's police and fire services today and into the future. Read below to learn more about the current needs and the review the draft safety funding plan




The City of Redmond is engaging community members about how to continue to fund Redmond's police and fire services today and into the future. Read below to learn more about the current needs and the review the draft safety funding plan




  • A Growing Community

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    Community safety is vital to ensuring a strong economy and thriving community for all. In the past decade, Redmond has grown significantly, and Fire and Police Department calls have also increased in that time.

    While this growth brings exciting changes to Redmond, like light rail and a strong customer base for our small businesses, it also changes how we respond to emergencies. With taller buildings, more people, and a community calling for alternative approaches, we need a responsive and transparent public safety system that keeps pace with Redmond’s growing needs, while ensuring we have enough emergency responders to maintain the safety of our communities.

    To achieve this, the City is proposing to ask voters to increase their property taxes to cover the gap between existing revenue and current city needs, as well as increase the capacity of in-demand services, such as the Mental Health Response and Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) programs and fund more personnel to maintain speedy fire and police response.

    Learn more below, then take the questionnaire by April 15 – your feedback will be used by Mayor Angela Birney to create a community-centered community safety plan that will be presented to the City Council in May for approval of a funding increase to be included on the ballot in November 2022.


  • 2007 Levy

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    A significant investment that has contributed to Redmond’s strong emergency services system is a property tax levy approved by voters in 2007. For more than a decade, this levy has provided essential support in keeping our Fire and Police Departments staffed, including funding for 18 firefighters and 17 police personnel.

    However, over the last 15 years the purchasing power of the levy has decreased over time. Revenue from the levy by law can only grow 1% every year – but expenses have increased approximately 5% every year, rapidly outpacing revenue. The 2007 levy can no longer support the same services it once did. Our growing community and evolving public safety needs require additional investments now to ensure a safe and supportive system for everyone.


  • Draft Redmond Safety Funding Plan: Keeping Pace and Enhancing Emergency Services

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    Redmond has grown, and it’s time for our fire and police services to catch up. With safety as one of our highest priorities, we need a responsive public safety system that understands and can meet the needs of our evolving city.

    IN THE DRAFT PLAN: Retaining critical staff working to keep us safe, $3.5 million

    • The 2007 property tax levy approved by voters included funding for 18 firefighters (enough to staff an additional aid car and a new fire station) and 17 police personnel.

    • Revenue from the levy by law has only grown 1% every year, while expenses have increased approximately 5% every year, rapidly outpacing revenue.

    • This new draft plan includes $3.5 million to ensure we can retain those firefighters and police positions.

    IN THE DRAFT PLAN: Hiring more police personnel to keep pace with growth and maintain the highest level of safety and security, $2.5 million

    • In the last 10 years, Redmond has grown by 20,000 residents – but police staffing has remained flat.

    • We do not have an adequate number of on-duty officers to ensure our Police Department can continue to respond quickly in times of emergency and maintain the safety of our rapidly growing communities. We also need to hire support staff to ensure officers can focus on their job of keeping people safe and responding to calls.

    • This new draft plan includes funding to hire more police responders (both commissioned officers and civilian responders), as well as bring on technology and records specialists to support transparent, accountable government through reporting, 911 dispatch, and responding to public records requests.

    IN THE DRAFT PLAN: Increasing Police Department transparency and accountability with body worn cameras, $935,000

    • Law enforcement agencies throughout the country are using body worn cameras to promote public accountability and increase transparency in interactions between officers and community members.

    • This new draft plan includes funding to cover the ongoing needs for staffing, training, technology services, records management, public disclosure, and court case preparation.

    IN THE DRAFT PLAN: Growing successful partnerships with the Mental Health Professional co-responder, $158,000

    • Our Police Department has one Mental Health Professional (MHP) who teams up with police officers to co-respond to calls.

    • Redmond Police currently receives more calls than a single MHP can support. This new draft plan provides funding to hire another MHP to respond with police officers, de-escalate interactions, handle crisis intervention, and help people experiencing homelessness, mental health challenges, and substance abuse, and connects them with the right services.

    IN THE DRAFT PLAN: Expanding coverage for fire services in northeast and southeast Redmond, $2.9 million

    • Redmond’s Fire Department protects over $30 billion in property value, and they do it with only two fire engines.

    • Station 16 in southeast Redmond and Station 17 in northeast Redmond currently do not have enough personnel to staff a fire engine, called an “engine company. This new draft plan includes funding to hire enough firefighters to provide engine companies – fully staffed fire engines – to both Station 16 and Station 17, doubling Redmond’s fire suppression capacity, ensuring all of our communities have strong emergency service response, including the growing areas of northeast and southeast Redmond.

    IN THE DRAFT PLAN: Expanding Mobile Integrated Health to help people in crisis, $360,000

    • The Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) program is a cost-effective way to increase the reliability of Redmond’s emergency resources while addressing community needs. It includes EMTs, paramedics, social workers, and mental health and substance abuse professionals who work to better understand the situation and address 911 callers’ needs and concerns, connect people to services, intervene in crises, and provide home safety inspections to help reduce injuries, which lowers trips to the emergency room.

    • The program is currently available for only 40 hours a week – far less than what is needed. This new plan includes funding to increase staffing and operate the MIH program 12 hours per day, every day – more than doubling the weekly hours.




  • How Much Will It Cost?

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    Thanks to community investments in our safety system’s staffing and resources, we’ve maintained a high level of service when it comes to our Fire Department, Police Department, and other emergency services. To ensure we can continue to meet our community’s needs, we need to act now. The proposed draft plan will:

    • Cost the typical Redmond household approximately $28.33 a month, or $340 dollars a year, based on the average Redmond home assessed value of one million dollars.

    • Generate $10.4 million per year to cover the existing funding gap and fund critical programs.

    • Be paid for through a property tax increase of $0.34 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.



  • Community Sounding Board

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    In addition to engaging the community in this discussion, the City formed a volunteer community Sounding Board to provide feedback on the draft Redmond Safety Funding Plan.

    Sounding Board members included LouAnn Ballew, Roy Captain, Dr. Neelam Chahlia, Doug Fischels, Joy Randall, Larry Gilmore, Lindsay Graves, Jennifer Karls, Cecilia Martinez-Vasquez, and Hank Margeson.

    All meetings were held virtually via Zoom from 4:30 6:00 p.m. and were open to the public. The meeting schedule was Jan. 31, Feb. 14, Feb 28, March 14, March 28, Apr. 25, May 9. Meeting documents are available under the “Sounding Board Document Library” section.


Page last updated: 13 May 2022, 01:57 PM